The best camping near
Olympic National Forest, WASHINGTON

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Camping Washington Olympic National Forest
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Reserve months in advance

There are not many sites to the campground, so reserve several months in advance to get a good spot. Beach is essentially a private beach. Most let their dogs off leash to go play, as during peak season driving on the beach there is prohibited. For a cozy campground, most campers are friendly and respectful of others. When the weather is nice and wind is blowing, the campground comes alive with kites, windsocks and other wind related decorations being flown from most campsites. It’s quite the experience.

Ranger Review: Hoh Oxbow FREE Camping With Banner & Oak Beanie


When traveling in the PNW, a handy item to consider is the Discover Pass. Not only does it allow access to all of the State Parks, but it also unlocks the limitless possibilities of FREE camping throughout the state of Washington. 

I stumbled upon many campground which could be utilized throughout the state by simply having the pass, something which is somewhat of a secret they don’t share with you when you first visit the state itself. 

Picking up this pass guarantees you unlimited access to these facilities for one calendar year and is only$40. 

For more details about the Discover Pass CLICK HERE 

Campground Review: 

One of the many locations I found along the way was the HOH OxBow Campground, a semi improved campground just a short distance from the entrance to the Olympic National Park’s unique rainforest. When it comes to FREE camping in the area this is one of the more easily accessible sites with a quick turn out right off the 101. 

Staying in this area you can expect larger campsites with picnic tables and fire rings and a single vault toilet for the location. There are around 10 campsites at this location and if you are traveling with friends each of these has plenty of room for 2-3 rigs or cars. 

I found this site does fill however there are also some smaller pull outs over by the fishing area if you are looking to stay in your smaller vehicle. I pulled in later in the evening and needed a location for the evening which was relatively close to the rainforest, the next day’s adventure. It was pouring so camping in a tent was out of the question. I found a single parking/pull off area and discovered that you can stay here as well so it was perfect. 

The next morning I woke to a chilly morning but no rain and decided to walk around and explore and was welcomed into the natural beauty of the area. From where I was parked there was a small walking trail which departed the campground and ran alongside a river and to some spectacular views. A small boat launch was perfect for canoes or kayaks and is a popular area for fishing in this region. 

This site allows up to 7 days at a time, as do many DNR Managed Lands. You can stay here with a Discover Pass but must display it on your front dash at all times. Camping items must be attended to at least once every 24 hours otherwise you will be considered to have abandoned them, so don’t use this as a home base and explore a longer hike without checking in. 

Because this is a limited service site you will be required to pack in and out all of your trash as there are no pick ups or trash cans. You also cannot collect fire wood from the area and must bring your own. 

Something I really did appreciate about this location was the overall peace which came from exploring it. Though it was just off the roadway, I heard absolutely no road noise. I also noticed posted signs prohibiting ATVs from the area to keep the peace and quiet. 


  • Bring everything you will need for camping as this is a Primitive Campground and offers no store options. Should you forget something I suggest visiting Forks which is a short distance north along the 101. 
  • Make sure you bring a raincoat. This area is known as a rainforest for a reason, it receives over a hundred inches of rain each year and usually this comes in the form of a constant drizzle. While you might be tempted to bring an umbrella but this can prove to be more cumbersome than helpful. 
  • Download offline maps before coming to this area, especially if you have AT&T, service through this area is very limited and sparse. 

Points Of Interest To Check Out: 

  • Ruby Beach- Also known as Driftwood Beach this location is just south of the campground and offers great views of some unique aspects of the Washington coastline. You will most enjoy seeing the many creations people leave on the beach from the washed up logs from the surrounding forest. 

  • Forks- This community is a unique place to visit in the state as it has been a part of the film industry for several projects, most famously known as the area for which they filmed Twilight. In addition to some familiar locations you can find a few interesting places to stop in town which have a lot of historic value. 

Product Review: 

As a Ranger for the Dyrt I am able to check out some amazing gear and provide feedback from my travels and the practicality of usage. For this trip I was able to check out some very useful items from Banner & Oak

Did you know that you lose the vast majority of your body heat through not covering your head? Studies prove that over half of your body heat is lost through your head when not covered. Reasoning relates to the amount of skin exposed accounting for 7% of your total skin surface area and most of that rarely covered, unlike much of the other portions of your body. 

A quick way to ensure your body stay warmer during cooler conditions or to keep you feeling cozy on a typically rainy day is to wear a hat. 

On the day I visited the HOH OxBow Campground it was especially chilly following a night of excessive rains. Though I had several Banner& Oak hats with me, the one I reached for was the Banner& Oak Range Beanie in the Color Olive. 

The beanie retails for$24, a bit higher than I typically would spend on a beanie, but it was apparent as to why the additional cost once I put it on. Unlike many beanies I have tried over my adventures this one is a bit thicker as it uses a double layered knit. It is resistant to most elements through its construction and quickly became a favorite for cold weather. Despite being a thicker set material I found it to fit snug without being to tight on my head and it allowed me to style it in several ways depending on my need. 

For the cooler day of hiking through the rainforest, where it later began to rain I wore the hat in a more slouchy offset to the back styling. When I was a little further down the road toward Crater Lake and stumbled upon freezing temperatures and light snow, I was able to place the beanie more firmly on my head and lower on the ears for more coverage and warmth. 

All in all between the fit, color and options it provided me for warmth I would rate this as one of my go to items when it comes to cool weather travel. The investment in good headwear is important and often times overlooked when it comes to packing for an adventure, but this one proves that it is a necessary point which should be considered on every travel check list. 


  • When shopping on Banner & Oak check out the men’s section even if you are a woman. The hats on the site do vary from section to section slightly and in my opinion some of the more fun hats are featured on the men’s listing.
  •  Remember when packing for winter to bring closed back hats and beanies as opposed to snapbacks with open vents this will keep you warmer when you travel during cool weather. 
  • Consider wearing a beanie when you sleep in colder weather, this will keep your body temperature much higher even when in a tent.
Great Little Spot

Great spot, right on the river. Small (16 spots I believe), first come, no running water, discover pass required but free! Pros- right next to Hungry Bear Cafe if you don't want to cook, Cons- Bathrooms here are only for those with strong stomachs and lungs to hold your breath


The Olympic National Park is one of my favorite places in Washington. There are so many great hikes nearby you don’t want to miss out! I think the best time to do is during the summer because the weather is the best this time of year. If you go in the spring there is still snow at some campgrounds and hiking areas. The fall is gorgeous here because of all the changing colors! Lillian Ridge Trail is amazing and a must do!! The views at the top are incredible. You’ll also see some wildlife- mountain goats and Pikas. We saw a cute little Pika family, with the little Pikas crying on a rock to their mother. We got the best weather in July, although it was VERY busy!! We did a few hikes nearby, all of which were full of people. Please look ahead if dogs are allowed or not. Highly recommend!

Great Hiking!

One thing I always look for when camping is great hikes nearby! The Chetwoot Campground has some great hiking nearby. There are some great campgrounds near Chetwoot, WA also. The campgrounds are clean and pretty good size. The campground is within the Olympic National Forest, so again there are great hikes! Most of them are not dog friendly, so make sure to look ahead and check before you go! Such a beautiful area, you don’t want to miss out. On one of the hikes we saw some mountain goats and lots of chipmunks. Highly recommend!!

Across form the beach

I stayed in this campground mainly because I wanted to be near the beach, but also due to the easy of booking the site online. Traveling solo, booking in advance really helps. I was directly across the street(in the campground) from the beach. I could hear the sound of the waves all the time from my site. The campground was very clean, and spread out for the most part. The other sites were very visible from mine, but it wasn't a bother. The bathrooms, while there were no showers were very well kept, and maintained. The trails from the campground to hike around in were a little confusing, but still really nice once you got on the actual trail. The Kalaloch Lodge which was just down the road provided a much needed scenic breakfast to me on my last morning there.  I would most definitely stay here again should I return to the PNW.

Not coming back, but a cheap stop

It’s 9:30, and the full hookup sites are blaring “how to save a life” by the fray, two sites down there’s an odd couple with a trailer arguing over the generator. I can hear the crowd in the little cabins on the other side of the campground. There’s no privacy here. The sites are all right on top of each other. Just hope you get a day when the crowd is good. On the bright side, the rest of the sites are being considerate, it’s open in winter, they have showers, and there are three tent sites for $20/night. Ear plugs are of good use here. We are using it as a stop over on our way out to the other side of the peninsula.

Pacific Northwest Perfection

This is possibly the most beautiful National Park I have visited. Perfect campground along a river populated with deer, elk, and bears. Use your bear box! This is a rain forest so expect everything to be moist in the morning. There are still working pay phones here and fantastic interpretative center. There is a little town 15-20 minute drive away that has a supermarket, a large general store, and WiFi. The very best spot is Loop C, spot 78.

Just gorgeous!

We absolutely loved our stay here (9/5-9/7)! We arrived on a weekday and the campground was fairly empty, so we were able to grab a great spot in the A loop with easy access to the restrooms and the trails to the visitor center. The campground is first come, first serve, dry camping, and the dump station was out of service while we were there.

There are both back-in and pull- through sites with concrete pads, fire rings, and picnic tables. Some tight turns and low-hanging trees but our 32’ fifth wheel managed just fine. Plenty of wildlife, including deer, rabbits, birds, squirrels, and numerous banana slugs.

The visitor is an easy walk from the campground. The hiking trails were simply gorgeous and we definitely did not stay long enough to thoroughly enjoy this area of Olympic National Park.

Nearby Forks, WA is a 45 minute drive from the campground.

Two bars of Verizon LTE but it varied throughout the park.

A note about the drive in: We are very glad we arrived on a weekday! The road into this campground is narrow, and there were times we were driving over the centerline to keep our rig on the road. There is no shoulder for most of the drive and we did not want to meet any oncoming traffic with a rig as long as ours. It’s doable but take it slow!

Great park

We pulled in late at night and on off season and they still accommodated us!